« The rationality of Valentine's day | Main | Financial services & GDP »

February 15, 2009

Comments

Kit

"Herein, though, lies something that puzzles me."

Your copy of "Road to Serfdom" is in the post.

Matthew Cain

Have you actually read the Act? Because it's not exactly what it says.

Now that's not to say that the Act may be applied inappropriately - particularly by police at the time. But the courts cannot be in any doubt - surely?

The Act only says that an offence will be committed if, the act of "eliciting, publishing or communicating" produces information "which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"

What's wrong with that?

JimH

I too am puzzled by the silence of the Left on this. I am economically rightwing, but have always been against the authoritarianism inherent in the Right. I never thought that a leftist government would result in one of the most oppressive semi-police states imaginable.

And many of my friends, who do not share my rightwing views seem totally happy with all this. They will rail against 'Thatcher' and what she did in the 80s, but bring up ID cards, and current civil liberty and free speech issues, and suddenly a silence. Maybe its a cognitive dissonance thing. You don't want to admit that what you have campaigned for for many years has actually (in this area anyway) turned out worse than that you despised.

Chris E


The Act only says that an offence will be committed if, the act of "eliciting, publishing or communicating" produces information "which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"


Because, as chris says - by the time this statement is interpreted, a photo could already have vanished.

Given the amount of information that the PTB argue 'could be of use to terrorists', it won't be suprising that PC Plod draws the definition widely.

Heresiarch

On your question of the Left's attitude, I think many left-wingers instinctively view the police, not as the servants of ordinary citizens, but rather as the enforcement arm of the governing regime. So when they're policing the miners' strike it's easy to characterise them as "the enemy". But when "your" party is in power, then the police become "yours" too. Conservatives, by contrast, are more easily shocked by police heavy-handedness, because they instinctively feel the police belong to the public rather than the state.

dearieme

"I too am puzzled by the silence of the Left on this." Well I'm not: (almost) all the lefties I've ever known have been authoritarian. If they ever objected to the use of force by the State it was only because the State wasn't in their hands. I dare say that the same will prove true of Saint Obama.

ad

"Leftists of my generation were raised to be deeply suspicious of the police: Blair Peach, Cherry Groce, and the miners strike taught us this. Why is it, then, that a government many of whose members were similarly socialised should be so keen to give them even more power, even though they know this will be misused?"

Because it is the government that controls the police?

They might well have a different view when they are out of office.

David B

Ah, now I was there in 1977 when we had a new punk rock music thing going. A generation that made their own clothes and had their own record labels and their own fanzines. And what happened? Commerce took over. So the Clash sell Levis and Johnny Rotten hawks butter.

Animal Farm got it right. Four legs good, two legs better.

Politicians are professionals. They took your idealism and turned it into obscene expenses claims. They are the Napoleon and Snowball, you are Boxer.

Don't be surprised that Zanulabour wreck your dreams. It was ever thus. They are all c@nts, they all go to the same schools as their opposite numbers in the Conservative party - and their pals in the head offices of banks btw - and your idealism is never going to be anything other than a way of securing your vote by allowing them to tailor their lies. A French revolution now and then might keep them on their toes, but essentially nothing ever changes. So join in or stay bitter, but forget your principles.

D iversity

" .. "eliciting, publishing or communicating" produces information "which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

Interesting. There must be at least a million CCTV cameras currently "eliciting" such information. There will be several millions of tourists each year photographing police and armed forces guards outside the royal palaces - imformation obviously potentially useful to intending terrorists. Is anyone who takes a picture of the police guards outside Jaqui Smith's principal residence (we are told that there are guards on the odd occasion when she is there) going to be committing an offence? Or is that an exercise in diverting potential terrorists from where the Home Secretary is likely to be?

I have often seen policemen taking pictures of their colleagues about their duty. In future, will it be my duty to arrst these officers fro eliciting information likely to be of use to potential terrorists?

It appears that we are going to need a prison building program far beyond anything Jack Straw has imagined.

Bob B

For once, I'm starting to feel an increasing nostalgia for Ken Livingstone, even though I didn't vote for him:

If Voting Changed Anything They'd Abolish It

RobS

You might want to start setting up the "underground railway" that will be needed to ferry undesirables out of the UK when the going gets rough NOW, rather than later.

tbrrob

Because maybe they wish to protect their position of power.

It would seem that the well intentioned socialists opened the door and the criminals came running in.

Bob B

"It would seem that the well intentioned socialists opened the door . . "

FWIW my impression is that New Labour made a calculated decision, when Blair was PM, to open the door in the belief that the outcome would be electorally advantageous for New Labour because the Conservatives would show up as the nasty party.

Btw "A House of Lords report has warned that the growth of surveillance is one of the most significant changes in British society since the Second World War."
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5683392.ece

Ken Trough

You know the interweb is global now yes? How about a reference to the COUNTRY you are writing about?!?

I know the UK and Canada were considering such laws, but I hadn't heard that this was being considered in the US.

Are you in the UK? I'm guessing from the comments that you are. It might be helpful to mention that in your article or on your blog somewhere.

Keith

Maybe the answer to your bafflement is that trendy left wing student types are rebelling against mummy and daddy after going to public school but once in power are just like mummy and daddy after all. Upper class shits.

The more complex answer is that a belief in Liberty is not Left or Right wing but independent of such a terminology. Schumpeter says that he does not think politicians really believe in Liberty; for them it is only a slogan.

Jon

Of course it goes without saying that this government has no respect for civil liberties, but I think in this case you may be overegging the pudding. The more appropriate charge would be the making of a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism contrary to s. 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. (In fact, I think that would be the only applicable charge -- I doubt that taking a photograph would qualify as "eliciting").

The s. 58 offence has been on the books since 19 February 2001, and yet we have not been overwhelmed with tales of confiscated cameras and abused photographers. On the road we may be, but we're still a fair way from serfdom.

Lee Griffin

Jon: Section 58 provides the context for the specification of armed forces and police. Information is determined to be merely someone's appearance given that it can be recorded, thus one can elicit such information through photography. At the very least it would be a crime to publish pictures taken, that much isn't as ambiguous.

rockinred

>>Leftists of my generation were raised to be deeply suspicious of the police: Blair Peach, Cherry Groce, and the miners strike taught us this. Why is it, then, that a government many of whose members were similarly socialised should be so keen to give them even more power,<< Point is that they weren't actually similarly socialised, they've always been establishment toadies. Take Jack Straw ('please take...') - when we were sitting-in, taking it to the streets, starting up underground magazines and all that other good stuff that lively youngsters ought to get into, Straw was president of the Nat Union of Students - short hair, Buddy Holly glasses and a duffel coat. A f****in' duffel coat! No, these people never were 'one of us', they've always been the enemy.

vanshita

stupid nonsense i dont like the infomation

Chris

Its like the pigs in Orwell's Animal Farm. The revolutionarys will eventually become the same or worse as the people they over threw

Jon

@ Lee

The OED defines 'elicit' as:

'1. To draw forth what is latent or potential into sensible existence.
2. To bring out, educe (principles, truths, etc.) from the data in which they are implied. Also, to extract, draw out (information) from a person by interrogation; sometimes with object clause introduced by that.
3. To draw forth, evoke (a response, manifestation, etc.) from a person.'

In my view, none of these meanings would cover the act of photographing someone. I think the offence is directed at eliciting information from a person as in the second and third senses above. Hansard supports this reading, and so does the existence of the more fitting offence in s. 58 (the in paria materia principle applies here).

The argument is in any case moot. My point was that it did not become illegal to photograph policeman today: insofar as it is illegal, it has been illegal since 2001.

There can be a tendency when a new offence like this is created for people to throw up their hands in shock, but 9 times out of 10 the proscribed behaviour is already covered by an existing offence (indeed, this needless duplication arising from the government's desire to be seen to be doing something has become the bane of the legal profession). I'm not saying we should be sanguine about this -- quite the opposite -- but we must also take care not to cry wolf.

Wob

Has there ever been a political movement in favour of fixing government that hasn't immediately become a vehicle for Machiavellian sociopaths to get themselves into power?

guthrie

All the people I know who would self identify as leftists are far to the left of New labour, which is a centrist party, and they all know that the police, besides their day to day public service jobs, are also used to enforce government hegemony, and are not to be trusted.
New labour used plenty of rhetoric, but their actions have belied their claims and they have deliberately dropped the original ideals. In fact I don't really consider them a leftist party any more, and judging by membership figures many people agree.

Charlieman

When reading the links, I tried not to understand whether the proposition was a bill or act. At the end of the day, it matters little. Liberals (with a small L) are useless at protecting our rights and we ought to ask why.

Houston

This is easy to explain. The Liberals you so rightly observe think that it will not happen to them. They think they are in control. They think "US" verses Them. Them being us right wing freedom religion nuts. This explains why McCain was so confused by his treatment at the hands of the media in the last election. He thought he was one of the "US" in crowd.

This is why "Animal Farm" works on so many levels. Some are more equal than others and other things they don't teach you in school.

boqueronman

The following is a helpful hint to JimH who, I will assume probably incorrectly, was being truthful when he said: "I am economically rightwing, but have always been against the authoritarianism inherent in the Right. I never thought that a leftist government would result in one of the most oppressive semi-police states imaginable." Huh? I suggest you do a little reading there Jim of 20th century history. On the left we have Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini (previously head of the Italian Communist Party), Hitler (yes, he was head of a progressive/collectivist left heresy), Pol Pot, Castro, the NK Dear Leaders, etc., etc. On the right we have... Pinochet, and... ah, of course, BushHitler, and... the Reagan-Thatcher cabal. Maybe JimH can help 'cause I can't think of any more. The lifespan of this right=tyranny myth and its misuse to denigrate conservative democrats (small d) is truly mystifying. In the U.S. we would say only a public school education can generate this kind of ignorance.

Matt Wardman

>Jon:

>The s. 58 offence has been on the books since 19 February 2001,

Um. So what possible justification is there for another one?

>and yet we have not been overwhelmed with tales of confiscated cameras and abused photographers.

I don't understand how you can write that. It happens all the time all over the country. We tend to hear about the abuse of professional photogs, but these alone are enough. Here are two links:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/23/police_photographer_stops/

and

http://www.epuk.org/News/818/police-officer-forced-photographer-to-delete-images

These are pros. I can think of as many cases again without really trying.

raivo pommer

Kredit in der Krise der Dresdner Bank

Von Raivo Pommer

Schwere Eisengitter versperren den Eingang zum Silberturm der Dresdner Bank. Das Foyer dahinter ist dunkel. Bis vor wenigen Monaten arbeiteten in dem 166 Meter hohen Turm auf 32 Stockwerken fast 2000 Mitarbeiter der Konzernzentrale. Jetzt wird renoviert. Doch auch wenn das vorbei ist, wird womöglich keiner der Banker jemals wieder einen Fuß in das Gebäude setzen.

Im September hat die Commerzbank die Dresdner Bank gekauft und mit ihr den Turm. Martin Blessing, der erst drei Monate zuvor an die Spitze gerückt war, will aus Commerzbank und Dresdner Bank mit ihren 16Millionen Kunden ein Kreditinstitut auf Augenhöhe mit der Deutschen Bank bauen.

Doch nur fünf Monate später droht die Finanzkrise das Unternehmen zu zerreißen. Zweimal hat sich Blessing schon Kapital vom Staat geholt, insgesamt 18 Milliarden Euro, um die Übernahme der Dresdner überhaupt stemmen zu können. Doch ob das Geld reicht, weiß niemand.

Ace Nitro

One says sleepwalking another says its a march, but both are woefully inadequate. We already are in the "Dictorial Police State". The United States imprisions more citizens than any other two or three nations combined. I have seen police behavior lately that is so far out of the realm of any U.S. civil codes. Even with any of constitutional crippling acts passed by congress there are daily acts by police forces that range from dictatorial to literally criminal. Policies on detention and investigation have lead to the police having the right to arrest you for any "percieved" interference. I just recently saw a young woman pulled over for being in a neighborhood that the officer didn't want her to be in. She had committed no traffic offense no crime of any sort. The officer threatened to arrest her if she did not go home. I watched him intimidate her and bully her untill she trembled with fear. In an attempt to curb the officer's outlandish behavior a passerby was maced, handcuffed, and arrested for interfering with a police investigation. Now it turns out that the officer suspected the girl of attempting to buy drugs, but she was merely on her way to her aunts house across town. This is unfortunately not something we are headed toward. No sir we have arrived this is a police state. Make no mistake about it.

Robert M Kraus Sr

I agree that the USA is gradually drifting into a police state. Examples: (1) Federal Prosecutor Fitzgerald's (in Chicago) railroading of the governor of Illinois (2) Federal Prosecutor O'Brien's (in Los Angeles) subpoena Of Cardinal Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles.Wiretaps are standard procedure with these guys. Leaking information to the press and to legislators in order to arouse public concern and opinion is a well know trick of these guys.I believe that the pursuits of these zealous attorneys are not for justice, but for self-aggrandizement.

rmk,akron

raivo pommer-eesti-www.google.ee

Raivo Pommer-eesti-www.google.ee
raimo1@hot.ee

HECTOR RUIZ amerikaner

Nachdenklich, aber auch entschlossen wirkt Hector Ruiz gestern Nachmittag in Dresden. „Es gibt keinen Platz wie diesen in Europa“, sagt der Amerikaner gelassen. Nur zwei Stunden zuvor hatte der Aufsichstratschef von Globalfoundries (GloFO), dem noch jungen Joint Venture des Prozessor-Herstellers AMD und dem Technologieunternehmen ATIC aus Abu Dhabi, Sachsens Ministerpräsident Stanislaw Tillich (CDU) aufgesucht.

„Wir wollten uns einfach mal beim Freistaat bedanken“, sagt Ruiz. „Denn diese Firma existiert nur, weil Dresden ein so starker Standort ist.“ Knapp sei es gewesen, damals zur Jahreswende, erinnert sich Ruiz an die dramatischen Verhandlungen. Eng wurde es damals. Und nicht auszudenken, was geschehen wäre, wenn der Mega-Deal mit Abu Dhabi damals nicht zustande gekommen wäre, der neue Milliarden Dollar in die klamme AMD-Kasse gebracht hatte.

2600 Mitarbeiter beschäftigt der Auftragsfertiger GloFo in Dresden. Alle sind zwar zurzeit in Kurzarbeit, doch mit guter Perspektive. „Wir werden in den nächsten Jahren unsere Kapazitäten in Dresden voll ausbauen. Und dazu brauchen wir gute Leute“, sagt GloFo-Chef Doug Grose. Bei 2600 Mitarbeitern werde es bleiben, versichert er.

The comments to this entry are closed.

blogs I like

Why S&M?

Blog powered by Typepad